29 08 2007

All is good. This past weekend I met with my LIFE Group (our small group) and had a really good time exploring and dialoging with each other about miracles. This just happened to be on the tail-end of the personal – very personal miracle my family experienced last week. If you haven’t heard and would like to read about that miracle…check out my last blog (Absolutely Amazing). Well, here is the thing. What we discovered in this study was not as much about the specifics of the miracle Jesus performed – as much as we did the character of the man Jesus. It was powerful…when Jesus healed the woman who had been bleeding for over 12 years (seriously bad season of her life) the bible says that He called her a daughter of Israel. In doing so, Jesus embraced her for who she was and valued her as a person. This is very significant – because, in doing so, Jesus risked a lot. This woman was considered to be “un-clean” – and anyone who got too close would be labeled the same. Never-the-less, Jesus reaches out and embraces the lowest level of society and then brings her up. He wasn’t concerned about her bringing Him down – He was just ready to bring her up!

Wow, doesn’t that just get you at the core of your being? Jesus is all about bringing people up. What a novel idea. Why don’t we try following His lead?
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It’s Absolutely Amazing!!!

25 08 2007

Alright…you might want to sit down for this one. On Thursday afternoon, I was leaving the hospital after having visited one of the families in our church when my phone rang. My wife quickly (and somewhat in a panic) told me that through a routine visit for my daughter, that her pediatrician had discovered a problem. Savannah (age 7) needed to be rushed to the hospital for a battery of tests, blood work, and an ultrasound. The doctor discovered that her spleen which should be soft and hidden by the rib cage had become hard and was sticking below her ribs nearly 2 1/2 inches (that’s a lot by the way…). Well, he explained to Lori that the causes could be any number of things, mono…viral infection…or…lukemia!!! With all the nervous angst flowing through our minds we quickly got Savannah admitted. The radiologist went first and spent an hour and a half measuring every organ within Savannah’s chest and abdomen. Once she was through, she slipped out to meet with the doctors and said she would be back in a few moments. For 20 painstaking minutes we waited. The radiologist returned and the phone rang. She answered and then passed it over to Lori. It was our doctor…the original doctor who found the troubled spleen. Let me pause here for a moment…I should probably tell you that during the 25 minutes it took for my wife to drive to the hospital I went back out and sat in my truck and really interceded for Savannah. I prayed and asked God for a miracle. I cursed the devil. I rebuked the enemy of our souls. I prayed scriptures. I reminded God of His word and begged him for a miracle for my daughter. Specifically, I asked Him to allow her spleen to go back to it’s normal size and state and for their to be no lingering issues to deal with. Alright…now back to the story. The doctor on the other end of the phone told my wife, “Lori, you and I both felt the hardened spleen. I measured it. I showed it to you. I know it was enlarged! However, the doctors and radiologists at the hospital are telling me that that can’t feel it now, it is not protruding below the rib cage and everything seems to measure exactly as it should in her abdomen and chest. All I can say is something has happened.” He then instructed us to take her home and come in for a follow-up visit next week. According to our doctor – she was sick, but now she is well. What was there is no longer an issue. She has been healed! Our greatest fears were relieved by the absolutely amazing power of God! We rejoice!!! Praise the Lord!

Be encouraged today. As God has been with us, He can be with you!




Upsized.

21 08 2007

C.S. Lewis made a powerful declaration when he wrote, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important!” Wow! Did you get that? What Lewis was asserting was this – our faith is either the undeniable truth or it is the greatest scam job ever invented by man…but what it is not is a moderate unimportant issue of life.

This past weekend I had a conversation with the congregation I pastor and I asked the question, “How big is your God?”. Isn’t that really the biggest question of faith that we must address? I say this because the size of your God will determine the quality of your faith and life.

A contemporary author I have been reading is Mark Batterson. He has recently written a book that challenges the quality of faith that most so-called Christ followers are living. One of the most powerful statements I have ever pondered came from his pen. And it is this, most Christ-followers do not have a circumstantial problem – but rather a perceptual problem. The core of this statement hinges on the thought that many times we enlarge our problems and we downgrade our God. When this happens – life becomes overwhelming, heavy, disappointing and joyless.

Another result of this kind of weak living is that our faith becomes moderate and empty at best. I think it is time that we SUPER-SIZE the God we serve and make this thing we call faith a big deal once again!

That’s all for now…